Lot 962
  • 962


50,000 - 80,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Height 43 in. by Width 41 3/4 in. by Depth 22 1/8 in.; 109.2 by 106 by 56.2 cm.
the top inlaid SO along the front edge; feet replaced.


Pook & Pook, Inc. Downingtown, Pennsylvania. February 20, 1999;
H.L. Chalfant Antiques, West Chester, Pennsylvania, February 1999;
Vogel Collection no. 653.

Catalogue Note

Elaborately ornamented with fanciful line and berry inlays, this chest of drawers is a rare example of the rural craftsmanship of Chester County, Pennsylvania. In form, it derives from the design of English precedents and closely follows chests of drawers produced in the Philadelphia region, including one in a private collection made of walnut signed by William Beale Jr. (active circa 1694-1711) of Philadelphia (See Jack Lindsey, Worldly Goods: The Arts of Early Pennsylvania, 1680-1758 (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1999), p. 97, 142, fig. 147, no. 26).  The distinctive inlay patterns of tulips, arches, and circles are characteristic of furniture made in Chester County by the English, Welsh and Dutch Quakers who had settled there. Chester County cabinetmakers favored walnut as a primary wood since it lent itself to the compass-scored inlays. As seen on this chest, these makers often practiced their whimsical designs by scoring them into shop lumber and therefore leaving traces on the interior faces of drawers, case sides or backboards. The initials “SO” inlaid along the front edge of the top likely refers to Sarah Ogden (b. 1691), a member of the prominent Ogden family of Chester County. She was the daughter of David Ogden (1655-1705), a Quaker who emigrated from England with William Penn and settled in Chester County on land purchased from William Penn in 1682 (See Thomas Holmes Map of the Province of Pennsylvania, with names of original purchasers from William Penn, 1681; Charles Ogden, The Quaker Ogdens in America: David Ogden of Ye Goode Ship “Welcome” and His Descendants (Philadelphia: J.P. Lippincott Co., 1898)). David and his wife, Martha Houlston, married on January 12, 1686, and had 9 children. Sarah was their third child and she later married Evan Howell (died 1734) in Whiteland, Chester County. This chest may have been part of her dowry and perhaps corresponds to the “Walnut Case of Drawers a Walnut Chest” valued at 4-5-5 pounds in Evan Howell’s estate inventory taken at his death in 1734.

A closely related five-drawer walnut chest of drawers with the initials, “MO”, has a history of descent in the Ogden family of Chester County and may have been originally owned by Sarah’s sister, Martha (born 1689). With initials and inlays likely by the same maker, that chest is currently in the collection of the Gloucester County Historical Society in Woodbury, New Jersey (acc. no. 1916.41). It was given to the Historical Society by Sibyl Tatum Jones, who purchased it at auction from the estate of Laura Pauline Pancoast (born 1859). The chest appears illustrated in The Quaker Ogdens in America David Ogden of Ye Goode Ship “Welcome” And His Descendants, 1682-1897 by Charles Burr, as owned by Mary S. Pancoast (born 1821) of Philadelphia, who was an Ogden descendant and Laura’s aunt (see Ogden, pp. 27-28). The caption for the illustrated chest further states that Mary Pancoast inherited the chest through direct family lines from David Ogden through his son, Stephen (1705-1760).